mo·​dal·​i·​ty | \ mō-ˈda-lə-tē How to pronounce modality (audio) \
plural modalities

Definition of modality

1a : the quality or state of being modal
b : a modal quality or attribute : form
2 : the classification of logical propositions (see proposition sense 1) according to their asserting or denying the possibility, impossibility, contingency, or necessity of their content
3 : one of the main avenues of sensation (such as vision)
4 : a usually physical therapeutic agency

Examples of modality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For all the intervening technological change, entertainment on TV remains the dominant modality of all twenty-first-century news. Greg Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Vicious Cycles," 6 Jan. 2020 Beyond questions about the Lightning Process as a treatment modality, the study itself violated core principles of scientific inquiry. David Tuller, STAT, "BMJ should retract flawed research paper on chronic fatigue syndrome," 13 Dec. 2019 Friday Fitness Sampler kicked off on Sept. 6 and runs weekly through Sept. 27, from 9 to 10 a.m. Each week features a chance to sample a different modality with a certified instructor., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 16 Sep. 2019 This particular modality is based on the idea that our thoughts and our perceptions shape our behavior, and the hope with CBT is that by rewiring cognitive pathways, destructive behaviors can be changed and rerouted. Molly Burford, Allure, "What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and How Does It Work?," 16 Oct. 2019 The popularity of astrology is often explained as the result of the decline of organized religion and the rise of economic precariousness, and as one aspect of a larger turn to New Age modalities. Christine Smallwood, The New Yorker, "Astrology in the Age of Uncertainty," 21 Oct. 2019 These different Windows modalities are Microsoft’s stock in trade. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Why the Surface Neo's keyboard was the best thing at Microsoft's hardware showcase," 3 Oct. 2019 The city added a multi-modality training center for up to 80 people including 18 pull-up stations, a rope climb tower and five squat stations. USA TODAY, "High Line milestones, Iowa’s big stink, Muscle Beach makeover: News from around our 50 states," 11 June 2019 Many of the major treatment modalities for alcoholics start from accepting helplessness over the addiction as the precondition for making changes. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Is Big Tech addictive? A debate with Nir Eyal.," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of modality

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for modality

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The first known use of modality was in 1545

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Modality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for modality


mo·​dal·​i·​ty | \ mō-ˈdal-ət-ē How to pronounce modality (audio) \
plural modalities

Medical Definition of modality

1 : one of the main avenues of sensation (as vision)
2a : a usually physical therapeutic agency
b : an apparatus for applying a modality

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More from Merriam-Webster on modality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modality

Britannica English: Translation of modality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about modality

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